Tilly and the buttons -Cleo dress

Cleo Pinafore

Guess what I have made????

You cannot?…ohhh let me tell you !!!!

I have made not one, but TWOΒ Cleo Dresses from Tilly and The Buttons. WHAT??!!?!? Monika are you crazy??? Nope, just in love with this pattern!!!!

Some weeks ago I told you already how much I adore Tilly’s style, her book “Love at first stitch” is amazing, however I had Cleo pattern for a while now, so I thought it should be easier make before I get my hands dirty with a Mimi blouse….check my previous post if you are lost.

Cleo….hmmmm where do I start???

I admired this dress for a while, watching endless samples that other people made and day dreaming about the time when I will have one in my wardrobe. This time is finally here πŸ™‚

This is the first time, in a very long time, when I DID NOT have to make any pattern adjustments. OK, when I say none, I mean like a major pattern adjustments, I still had to shorten the hem hihih….I am short, remember? I have to shorten everything!

The pattern gives you option between two dress lengths-shorter (knee length) or longer one with a split in the front. Also, there is a selection of different pocket placements in the front and on the back.

Β  I decided to cut size 6 based on my hip measurement alone. My waist measurement was closer to size 8, however as the pattern around this area is looser I thought ignoring it would be acceptable. And, I was right!

Cleo Dress vol.1

20180212_141634[1]My first Cleo was made from corduroy fabric I had in my stash for a while. I followed the pattern instruction exactly ( as expected Tilly’s pattern offers clear step by step instruction with pictures for easy reference when in doubt), and I did not have any problems. I’ve made the shorter version, which had to shorten further by about 7cm. Other then that, it is straight from the pocket.

20180212_141852[1]I only sewn one pocket, but I took my time to ensure my top-stitching looks nice.

The dress has interfacing all around for a clear finish, which is great. I did not top-stitch it, because it would not be that visible on this fabric, hence only hand stitched it in couple of places to make sure it will not roll out once I am wearing it. It worked pretty well.


Cleo dress vol.2

I wore my first Cleo to work so many times in the last couple of weeks,and got so many compliments on it, so I HAD to make another version.

This time I wanted to be more adventurous and I hacked the pattern to make pockets that are not top-stitched, but “inside” the dress, similar style that are found inside a trousers.

I have made the same size, but this time I went with a cotton fabric with some floral print, that caught my eye in the fabric shop (it is from Fabric Textiles on Goldhawk Road in London).



Look at this happy face πŸ™‚20180203_200344[1]

It took me a while to figure out how I need to hack the pattern that will give me the desired effect, but it was time well spent. I am absolutely thrilled with the result!!! Cleo vol.2 is also fully lined as Cleo vol.1 keep sticking to my tights when I walk.

Also, I put a snaps here, because I did not have buckles, but I think it works nicely anyway.


I wore it once already and it is so comfy.

Pattern hack

This post will be a little longer as I have promised on Instagram that I will write a blog on how I have done the pattern for this pocket…keep reading…


This is how my pattern look like…you can see how many times I was changing my mind…so to make it more clear for you I made it again on a mini version of the pattern.

The following are the steps I took to create this pocket:

1.Copy FRONT dress pattern (I have done without the seam allowance here)-unless you want to ruin your original one – which I am guessing you do not πŸ™‚


2.Choose a placement of the pocket opening. This is up to you. I put on my first Cleo and marked where I like my pockets to be. The line shape is also your choice. I am thinking to do a curved pocket opening next time πŸ˜‰20180212_190333[1]

3.Next, draw a shape and size of your new pocket. You can decide how deep it is.20180212_190801[1]4.Take your tracing wheel and TWO sheets of paper-Trace of all new lines, including pocket shape. If you do not have a tracing wheel, just copy the style lines and pocket lines onto a clear paper.20180212_190856[1]

20180212_191033[1]5.Now we will make the top pocket pattern-just draw a lines around the curve of the pocket and its opening. Add seam allowance (orange pen) and markings (purple pen).


20180212_1920021-e1518470198940.jpg6.The second pattern is bottom part of the pocket (visible part of the front)-add seam allowance and markings.20180212_1919581.jpg

7.Cut out your pattern pieces – and we are done πŸ™‚


8.Nearly forgot!!!….Remember to transfer the grain line onto your new pattern pieces πŸ˜‰

That is it! Not that difficult once you know what to do hihi

Let me know if you need guiding on construction.

~Let’s hack and have fun~

Sunny top vol.2

Today I have not much to say to you…only to show you the result of my “adjusted” Sunny top by Friday Pattern Company. If you haven’t seen my previous post including my review of this pattern, feel free to jump here….

But in the mean time this is the outcome.

Sunny top vol.2

As you can see if has a much better fit all round. I am very pleased that most of my pattern adjustments worked in my favor.

Just to remind you the 3 major adjustments I have done :

-sway back

-sleeve crown

-arm hole

Β Looking at the pictures I can see that I could have done bigger sway back adjustments..maybe another 1.5 cm, however it does not bother me as much as with my first try.

I am positively surprised that my experimentation with “dart” movement worked OK. I still do not think this was correct way to do it, but I am happy with the final look.

Sewing on the “new” sleeves was a bit tricky. I had far too much sleeve and had to stretch the arm hole quite a bit while sewing. It looks fine, however next time I will not lengthen the sleeve crown by as much as I did here.


I made a little error…

Making the second version I used different fabric. First top was made from Pone Roma, which did not stretch as much as this jersey fabric. Without thinking I cut out the same length of neck band as previously…and this was my mistake. It probably would be fine, if I have basted around the neck edges to stop it from overstretching…. Lesson learnt!!! Luckily when I wear it the pull lines are not that visible.20180212_141127[1]

I have made longer sleeves this time because found it more comfortable. Decided to hem it with 4 cm seam, hence I can roll the edges a bit for a little different look if I feel like it πŸ™‚





I think it looks pretty with my Cleo dress….More on this little beauty in my next post:)20180212_141634[1]

Have you made Sunny???